It’s the biggest endorsement in sports history. The Nike Air Jordan. During its first year on the market between 1984 and 1985 it raked in £75m and more than thirty years on, Michael Jordan, the legendary inspiration behind the iconic sneaker, has raked in an eye-watering £1bn from the deal while the brand itself is worth more than £7.5bn. The numbers are absolutely mind-blowing, but really, the gargantuan success of these famous kicks should come as no surprise. For more than three decades, the Air Jordan brand has dropped hit after hit and 2020, of course, has been no different.
Here’s are favourites from His Airness over the past year…
Air Jordan Fire Red 5s
Modern day loves retro and yesteryear and Nike took it back to 1990 in May with the release of the 5 Fire Red, boasting a solid black midsole, red and black details on a white leather base. Absolute flames, which also feature.
There is a nod to past editions with the inclusion of the famous ‘Nike Air’ on the heel. These kicks boast a striking simplicity which make them an instant classic no matter how recently they were launched.
Dior x Air Jordans
First appearing at the giant fashion brands’ Fall 2020 Runway show at Art Basel in Miami at the end of 2019, and months later rumours swirled of a potential release date with the pandemic causing delays. Fans patiently waiting would have to be quick off the mark to land a pair, with only 8,500 pairs created during a limited edition run. While the retail price was around £1,500, some went for five figures!
The Nike Dior collection is said to “bring together the House’s exceptional tailoring expertise with a 1980s American sportswear feel inspired by the legendary Michael Jordan.” That’s exactly what it does and the craftsmanship moulds elegant style with high performance.
Air Jordan Satin Red
Back in the day, Jordan’s Nike Air Ships were banned by the NBA for being too red and eye-catching; they didn’t conform. Nike though, latched onto a human’s desire to revolt now and again, turned into a marketing masterstroke and released the Air Jordan 1.
Now, 35 years on, the Satin Red were the next off the production line back in August, boasting the iconic red and black match-up which has been so iconic. The black laces and smooth satin finish set these bad boys apart.
These kicks are so smart they even come in a briefcase. The AJNT23s are in dark and gold and look seriously sophisticated, with a hint of space-age glamour.
Described as an embodiment of “basketball’s culture of creativity and self-expression by packing a host of utilitarian features into a bold and futuristic silhouette” these trainers feature a cool ‘one-pull system’ around golden attachments to save on tying.
The man behind many of the previous Air Jordan offerings, Tinker Hatfield, was also part of the design process and it’s clear he’s smashed it out the park once again with these.
Air Jordan 5, ‘Alternate Bel-Air’
By far the most fun pair of trainers released in 2020, these kicks with a twist on the Fresh Prince take it back to peak nineties. Will Smith’s role as the street-smart, wise-cracking teenager became a style icon himself so it’s no surprise Air Jordan went with such a match-up.
Bright, colourful and quirky, the ‘Alternate Bel-Air’ seep with nostalgia and were inspired by the sneakers Smith wears in the opening credits of the much-loved show.